2018 Mazda 6

  • 7th June 2018 by SGDriver
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LIKES

  • Pretty to look at
  • Turbo power to match
  • Decent value
  • Lots of standard safety gear
  • Good balance between ride and handling

DISLIKES

  • Turbo-4 too little, too late?
  • Awful infotainment system
  • New Signature trim doesn’t meet expectations
  • Could be more fuel-efficient

The 2018 Mazda 6 is proof that there’s life beyond the mainstream. This mid-size sedan has long cut its own path, and this year it does so with gusto to match its looks.

A new turbo-4 option breathes life into the stylish 6. Hopefully someone takes notice since this is the ultimate under-the-radar sedan.
The 6 is one of very few family saloons that are genuinely fun to drive, with sporty road manners and
some impressive engines that do a fine job of combining strong performance and good fuel economy. Low CO2 emissions find favour with fleet drivers, too, as does the Mazda’s keen pricing which makes rivals look a bit expensive.

Although it’s not available as a hatchback, both the saloon and Tourer estate provide plenty of room inside for five people, plus generous boot capacities. The crisp, sporty lines don’t impact too much on space, although it’s not the most practical in this class. A facelift in 2015 made this car even better, improving the plain dashboard design – which had been one of its few weaknesses.

The Mazda 6 is a well established rival to the Mondeo and Passat. The original model was introduced back in 2002, with a second-generation car following in 2007. But the Mk3 which arrived in 2013 is the best yet, using the very latest Mazda SkyActiv engine tech, a well-sorted chassis and a sleek body.

Technology took a step forward in the 2015 facelift and 2016 updates. It means 6 is a thoroughly up-to-date large family car that offers a high level of sophistication and modernity.

As of 2016, Mazda tweaked parts of the interior, but also added a new system called G-Vectoring aimed at improving handling stability. The changes are very minor and the driving experience feels barely altered from behind the wheel, so it doesn’t alter the 6’s class position.

In giving it a driver-focused character, Mazda has built something that feels more agile. The benefit of this sporty suspension is excellent handling across all versions of the 6. Turn-in is sharp, there’s plenty of grip (particularly with the Sport Nav’s 19-inch wheels) and feedback through the steering is accomplished. The 6 is a great driver’s car and owners seem to really rate its talents behind the wheel.

Two engines form the core of the Mazda 6 range: a 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G petrol and 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D diesel. Both are offered in two power outputs: the petrol with 143bhp or 162bhp, and the diesel with 148bhp or 173bhp.

Instead of the ugly built-in centre display, the car now gets a freestanding-style seven-inch set-up in a silver surround. Functions can now be controlled via the touchscreen or a BMW iDrive-style rotary wheel between the front seats – for ultimate convenience. Other technology offered within the Mazda 6 includes an 11-speaker Bose sound system and a head-up display: both are standard on the Sport Nav, which also gets LED headlights, adaptive front lighting, keyless entry, electric leather seats and, from 2016, a heated steering wheel. Radar cruise control is also offered on some Sport Nav variants.

The Mazda 6 has a top-quality air, with plush plastics and stylish trims. Its sporty steering wheel and cowled dials have traces of the MX-5 roadster. The boot is still pretty roomy, though, plus there’s no shortage of passenger space; the large exterior dimensions are reflected inside. There’s an excellent, feelgood driving position, with plenty of adjustment to take full advantage of this space, and when you sit behind the wheel the Mazda 6 inspires confidence. Passengers fare pretty well in the Mazda 6. Wide door openings make getting in and out easy and, once inside, there’s decent legroom.

With a talented chassis, good looks and a well equipped interior, the Mazda6 makes a good choice  – the Mazda6 is well worth checking out.